Aircraft Fasteners

In the aircraft construction and repair industry, aircraft fasteners are used to assemble every part of an aircraft, ranging from detailed parts that make up assemblies, which make up installations, and finally make up an entire aircraft. On the Boeing 747, there are over six million total parts, more than half of which are fasteners. Fasteners are used to connect components together in primary structural areas, secondary structures, pressurized and non-pressurized applications, and to transfer loads from one part to another in both production and repair applications.

There are many factors that come into play when engineers are choosing the correct type of fastener for the aircraft they are designing. For instance, what type of joining will the fastener be exposed to? shear or tension? What types of loads will be transferred through the joint? Aircraft loads include those experienced during towing, normal flight, wind, pressurization, engine-out operations, takeoff, landing, and more. All of these factors determine what size the structure will need to be, the material type, and the fastener type.

Fasteners have to be capable of transferring loads from one part to another. One example of this is the load transferred from engine to pylon, pylon to wing, and wing to fuselage. Fastener numbers and diameters are calculated to ensure they will be able to transfer this load. Other criteria needed to select the best fastener include weight, inspect ability, tooling requirements, aerodynamic smoothness, access, corrosion protection, and cost.

Aircraft fasteners can be divided into many groups and subgroups. These include structural fasteners that bear aircraft loads, and nonstructural fasteners that connect non-load bearing parts. Additionally, fasteners like blind fasteners, huck lock bolts, compos-lock fasteners, and CherryMAX fasteners are used in applications with restricted access, usually where only one side of a structure is accessible. In areas where both sides are accessible, standard rivets, structural bolts, and Hi-Lok fastening system fasteners are used. These fasteners are usually made from materials such as aluminum, steel, and titanium, and are coated to increase their resistance to corrosion and other forms of degradation. Styles of these fasteners’ heads range from countersunk to protruding head, depending on the unique aerodynamic requirements of the aircraft.

Fastener codes can be designated by a number of entities. They can be assigned by the manufacturer such as the CR3233 rivet by CherryMAX, by an industry standard such as the AN4 bolt, or by the airframe manufacturer as in Boeing’s BACR15CE5D3 rivet. Fastener codes are frequently used to simplify repair, production, and logistics.

As aircraft fasteners have critical roles, the criteria for inspection, removal, and replacement must be closely adhered to. If the removal of a fastener is necessary for additional access, operators must take care to avoid damaging the surrounding structures and the fastener hole itself. After the aircraft, engine, or component manufacturer, or the repair engineer designs or repairs an assembly, adhering to the maintenance and repair process is critical for loading and unloading capabilities of the fastener joint throughout its service life. Whatever aircraft fasteners you need, look no further than NSN Stocks.

NSN Stocks provides all types of aircraft fasteners such as Fastener Angle, Fastener Housing As, Gage Fastener Protr, Catch Fastener Side, and Shim Fastener, as well as NSN parts and connector parts for various military and civilian applications. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all types of unique parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. Our dedicated account managers are standing by and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1-714-705-4780.


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